Roni wants to be a hard core newspaper reporter and tries to go over the top which lands her into trouble often. She meets Brian at the principal's ofRoni wants to be a hard core newspaper reporter and tries to go over the top which lands her into trouble often. She meets Brian at the principal's office one day when both of them were waiting to speak about their current crimes. Roni had only tried to speak Alicia about the facts of her attack but it leads to a confrontation and detention. Brian has created a mess in the chemistry lab... again so he is also on detention. Together they hook up to look for clues when they get word that Alicia has gone missing from her dr. appointment late that afternoon. They find more trouble and the truth but they both still end up being grounded. Mysteries that take on a bit of the Nancy Drew element with a touch of the present day motives and technology. Brian and Roni make a great team even though they stumble upon the clues and or cause grief with the locals including Roni's mom who works for the mayor and Brian's mom who is a detective on the police squad....more
"I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. The first of these came as a terrible shock and,"I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. The first of these came as a terrible shock and, like anything that changes you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After. Like many of the extraordinary things to come, it involved my grandfather, Abraham Portman."
Grandpa was interesting to a small child: he lived in an orphanage, fought in wars, crossed the ocean, performed in a circus, knew all about guns and how to survive in the wilderness and spoke three languages that weren't English. Were they all stories? What about the pictures? At the age of six Jacob wanted to be an explorer but his mother was quick to tell him that everything had been explored and that he had been born in the wrong century. How sad! "At home I made my ambitions known by parading around with a cardboard tube held to my eye, shouting, 'Land ho!' and 'Prepare a landing party!' until my parents shooed me outside. I think they worried that my grandfather would infect me with some incurable dreaminess from which I'd never recover, that these fantasies were somehow inoculating me against more practical ambitions." Sounds like a six year old with a ton of imagination and I love that!
Tales of being shipped off at the age of 12 to escape the monsters in Poland were also tales of greatness as well as the orphanage he went to in Welsh. The older Jacob got the more the stories seemed really tall, far out and just not possible. "It was an enchanted place, he said, designed to keep kids safe from the monsters, on an island where the sun shined every day and nobody ever got sick or died. Everyone lived together in a big house that was protected by a wise old bird, or so the story went. As I got older, though. I began to have doubts."
When Jacob reached a certain age, his father gave him some reality to the Poland story. "My grandfather was the only member of his family to escape Poland before the Second World War broke out. He was twelve years old when his parents sent him into the arms of strangers, putting their youngest son on a train to Britain with nothing more than a suitcase and the clothes on his back. It was a one way ticket." Abe never saw his family again and by the time he reached sixteen his whole family had died, the monsters wore uniforms.
Page 17 and I am completely engrossed with the book, thinking this is going to be about the war and events that happened in the past. Well, it was and it wasn't and it wasn't until Jacob arrived at the Island that I discovered this was all about a rabbit hole. I didn't expect to fall in love with the story quite like I did either and as I turned the pages several other titles came to mind: Alice in Wonderland for sure, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Peter Pan, The Golden Compass, Coraline and A Wrinkle in Time. Fantasy, paranormal, with circus characters and or peculiar oddities ( children) that needed a safe haven. I wanted to know what Grandpa Abe had and why he sent Jacob to this place. By sending, I mean by leaving the clues that took Jacob a bit of time to figure out. Does Jacob have a peculiar trait?
Loop holes.... What would you do if you could live in one? What time in life would you pick? How old would want to be forever inside the loop hole? These are questions still rolling in my brain after I finished the last page in this book. To be sure I will get the second one because now there is an adventure and finding all the ymbrynes to save the world from certain doom by the wights. I'm not going to explain either word... you will have to read the book to learn what they are. The Map of Days has all the loops known to exist and they will use it for their destination plus the pictures that Horace has drawn from his dreams. He can predict the future and sees an explosion and ash....
"I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss. Yet as we stood loading our boats in the breaking dawn, on a brand new precipice of Before and After, I thought of everything I was about to leave behind, my parents, my town, my once-best-and-only-friend, and I realized that leaving wouldn't be like I had imagined, like casting off a weight. Their memory was something tangible and heavy, and I would carry it with me."
Three cheers for this title and the premise! Wow! I loved that the pictures in the book were real and that people actually search for them at sales and flea markets. What a way to write a story with the pictures!...more
Wow!!! I started reading book two after I saw the movie of Divergent. Truly sad that they made so many changes and left a few things out. My daughterWow!!! I started reading book two after I saw the movie of Divergent. Truly sad that they made so many changes and left a few things out. My daughter is very upset.... So I was so angry, I grabbed book two and began another whirl wind adventure with Tris. She was a teenager trying to be an adult with emotions of her parent's deaths and Will's death eating at her soul. She was more reckless and out of control. Tris was harboring secrets and learning what needed to be done. Relationships were tested. Whether it was the right thing or not, Tri makes a choice to save others. We learn that several people are spies, factionless are their own community, what happens to old, useless Dauntless members and that there is a secret outside the fence. Answers to questions I had in Divergent emerged and thankfully I have book three... because what a cliff hanger on the last page. ...more
Wow! A must read for all ages! Incredible historical knowledge of the Orphan Train from 1854 to 1929. A fictional story weaved within the history thatWow! A must read for all ages! Incredible historical knowledge of the Orphan Train from 1854 to 1929. A fictional story weaved within the history that presents itself as a classic in my opinion. Fascinating to see in the back of the book that the Orphan Train made a stop in Oakland, Iowa. I'm in the process of checking with our genealogy experts in Avoca/Oakland to see about doing a story for our papers. Fascinating and some what sad, as not all orphans were adopted for ideal purposes. Some were just work horses (the young men) and even the girls ( sewing or taking care of smaller children) indentured servants... Many were adopted to be accepted as children of barren couples. Author Christina's time spent chatting with six individuals in their 90's to 100's for the train ride and accurate information, must have been a thrill. The multiple facets of our time and history of how this country was made... in the beginnings of so many immigrants. Those who lost their parent's were put in orphanages and then on the trains to further change our cultural identities. I am sadden that many were given new names and not allowed to keep their only identity, but amazed that so many were able to trace back lineage and reconnect with family and others from the train. Loved this book! Loved that a cultural gap was drawn together. A 17 yr old girl as a foster kid and the 91 yr old orphan train survivor were learning that some good can come out of bad things and life can be changed and altered for the better. I will say it again.... History should be taught with feeling and not just about learning about dates and battles. ...more
Wow! At first I was reading this book slow because there was so much information to process. And now... I'm ready to dive into book 2 and 3 with a venWow! At first I was reading this book slow because there was so much information to process. And now... I'm ready to dive into book 2 and 3 with a vengeance. I didn't expect to be so caught up into the factions and the people. I gasped out loud, I cried, I cheered, I hoped and I wondered. I have so many questions, I hope some of them get answered in the next two books. I can't wait to watch the movie. After a few chapters in I was asking myself what faction would I choose. Based on my love to read and research.... Erudite but I also felt like I had qualities of each faction and so I said well heck I guess I'm Divergent. "I think we've made a mistake,' he says softly. 'We've all started to put down the virtues of the other factions in the process of bolstering our own. I don't want to do that. I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest' He clears his throat. 'I continually struggle with kindness.'" - Tobias/Four. I took the quiz at the end of the book and I picked mostly Erudite answers to those questions but there were just a few and several of the last questions I chose other factions. I would need a further test to determine.... I like to read but I don't want to be evil like Jeanine. "I don't understand why we're such a threat to the leaders'. 'Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it's not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way.' She touches my uninjured shoulder and smiles. 'But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can't be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can't be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.'" Hmmm.... I'm one who chooses the different path, beats the different drum and never follows the fad.... I had extreme hatreds towards certain people and wanted to see revenge and I'm slightly annoyed with some of the deaths at the end.... A couple individuals, I thought would have been around for the next book and the next part of the revolution/war. I don't know what it's being called yet.... I want to know what the author sees is behind the gate. Why is it locked from the outside? I hurt when Tris was in pain and I felt the adrenal rush with each new chapter, each new secret. I do wish a few things went on just a touch more (the sneaking around and discovering what Jeanine had plans for) and that the attack wasn't as successful. I wanted Abnegation to be protected a bit more, but Caleb must have gotten some warning back quick enough when he became factionless. Questions, I have questions. I need to have a book club meeting to chat more.... I'm chatting with a buddy reader on goodreads and the librarian at our local library. I guess I will have to chat more with Sara and Joy also.... I love that the author read The Giver and A Wrinkle in Time. I loved those books too. I will have to check out Ender's Game, 1984, Gilead and Juliet. Yes, I read everything at the end of Divergent... I want more! "I don't think books have ever solved my problems or made my decisions for me, but they bring me out of myself and make me ask myself questions, and that's life altering enough."-Veronic Roth ...more
Charming book about young love with heart. I Loved the treasure hunt as two people traveled around a busy town during Christmas, trying to find meaninCharming book about young love with heart. I Loved the treasure hunt as two people traveled around a busy town during Christmas, trying to find meaning to the season as others in their lives were too busy to notice. Smart, witty, funny, comical and I found myself wishing I could have found a book reading gentleman that would enjoy using notes to communicate. Two talent young individuals who feel stuck among their peers and have a geeky sense that separates them from the main stream of life. A must read for any age....more